US Lockdown News

Aktualisiert: 20. Apr. 2020

Global stories from real people, not the media.

I had asked friends, family and social media contacts to send me their stories about 'being weeks in isolation and lock down'. Are you still patient? Angry? Frustrated? How is your business doing? The kids? I had asked "Tell me YOUR story". And here are the answers, great, inspiring. Different. Enjoy reading stories from Spain, France, Germany, Ireland, USA, Sweden, Mexico, UK.I would like to thank everyone sending their interesting inside views. These are real stories, no selected media point of view.

Grant on the plane from Florida to New York - no one on it but 10 people
Grant on an empty flight

Grant lives in New Jersey / New York area:

In late February, early March, my employer in NYC started sending us emails about Covid-19, asking us to attend workshops on how to set up our home computers for working remotely. The urgency of the message made me anxious, especially since my husband and I had to fly down to Florida on 3/11 to visit my father-in-law in the hospital. He would unexpectedly die three days later, but not from the virus. While we grieved in the Sunshine State, and Covid-19 cases and deaths started to grow up North, I heard that my office in New York was closing down, along with restaurants and clubs and gyms and Broadway shows. My husband and I intended to spend time with family in Florida but our hotel began to limit its housekeeping service and closed down its bar & restaurant. (Food could only be ordered via room service). It was strange to be in a large and largely empty hotel. We decided to fly home earlier than expected. Thankfully the airlines were accommodating. My deceased father-in-law’s caregiver gave us a couple of masks for the near-empty flight back to our home in northern New Jersey, where we started to shelter-in-place with our three cats.

Aside from the coveted toilet paper, which we just happened to have on hand, we were not prepared for a pandemic. We needed basics: eggs, milk, bread. All the slots to order online seemed to be always full. When we went to the grocery store or pharmacy we had to wait outside on the sidewalk, dutifully six feet apart. Everyone was doing his or her part with a shocked resignation. It made the process easier.

It’s been a month now of staying at home, taking the occasional walk downtown to run an errand. We live in the suburbs so there is room to wander beneath tree-lined streets. To date our small town has 71 Coronavirus cases and two deaths. The neighboring town has 171 cases and nine deaths. I’m vigilant about hand-washing. I don’t wipe down the mail or deliveries. I call family and friends to see how they’re doing. I tried baking banana bread and it was as dense as a brick, but we’re eating it anyway. The saving grace was the addition of chocolate chips. Making a sandwich for lunch seems so normal, then I’m suddenly jarred about the sadness and lost souls outside. Despite the challenges, I’m grateful to have a job, especially one that involves books. Reading is a comfort.

I’m angry about the lack of leadership in this country. No federal response. No support. No empathy. No clue. Just blame-shifting, bluster, lies, and inaction.

Every day there are bits of mourning. For my dear father-in-law. For my own father, who died in December. For the dying. It can all be overwhelming. But what else can one do but breathe deeply, take stock, donate money, cuddle cats, smile at distant neighbors, laugh where you can, and live in this moment. We are all witnesses now.

Barbara with her cat Elle

Barbara W. lives and works in New York City

I am concerned about all of the hospitalizations,  the massive amounts death, people losing their jobs, the businesses going under or completely closing up. All of those issues are such a huge part of everything we are dealing with in the five boroughs of NYC. Currently a cousin’s husband is on a respirator. That is a stab in the heart for all of our extended families and will be until he gets home to his wife and one-year-old son. We keep up through a group text to not burden our cousin.

I’ve lost several colleagues at work. 

3rd week of March the NY subway is empty!

I’m extremely grateful that I still have my job, although it’s very different.  Prior to the lockdown, I was extraordinarily busy. Honestly, this has been a welcome “pause“ in what had become a “gerbil wheel” of events, volunteer work, expectations from friends, and too much travelling on Public Transportation. My combined daily commute was 3 hours. 

I live at the top tip of Manhattan and my office overlooks the Memorial pools for 9/11 near the Financial District. There usually was not a night that I didn’t have something planned after work or on the weekends.These included: organizations I volunteer with, concerts, theatre, lectures, softball, dance classes, or dinner plans. My Facebook friends would say “Where’s Barbara now?” 

The portion of Manhattan I live in is not as densely populated as other parts of NYC. Thankfully I’ve been able to take long walks through a nearby park and people keep a respectful social distance. I have studied every bird, leaf, raccoon, hedgehog and trail in the area. 

My boyfriend lives at the other end of Manhattan and we don’t want to be the cause of either getting sick so we speak a couple of times a day but have not seen each other in person since March 8th. Many friends and family are trying to “fill the hours.”  The days speed by for me!

Overall, I have been feeling happier. Working at home helped my stress levels go way down. I feel very bewildered..... can't believe so much is closed. I am not isolated or lonely. But I am extremely angry and upset at the lack of leadership in this country.

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